What I Accomplished at CES 2014

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Each year I travel to Las Vegas to attend the Consumer Electronics Show. It is a show where many companies show off products that they hope to release in 2014 and many products actually get launched at the show so if you are into computers or consumer electronics it is a really exciting show. But why do I go to the show? Of course to see all of these products, but on top of that I am doing much, much more.

Covered the show – Of course ThinkComputers is a tech news site so going to CES gives us a chance to report on the show. We let everyone know what new products are coming out etc and this brings a lot of traffic to the site, which equals more money.

Met with new companies – CES gives me the perfect opportunity to meet with new companies. During the year it is very hard to start a relationship with a new company. E-mails get ignored, phone calls never get returned etc. When you meet with someone in person you start that relationship because they actually know who you are.

Built on existing relationships – If we already have relationships with companies then we still go ahead and meet with them to continue that relationship. We make sure we get on the review list for the products that they have coming out, talk about possibly advertising with us and just to catch up on what they have going on. Again when you meet with people in person they are more likely to do things for you.

Networked – At the show there are various events and you get to meet a lot of really cool people. It is the perfect opportunity to network and meet new people in your industry. These could be people who may never have heard of ThinkComputers so just getting the name out there is good, but on top of that these could possibly be people who you can do business with.

There is a lot to do at CES and it is perfect event to help build your business. So if you were at CES this year were you productive?

New Years in New York City

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New Years is always a great time to go out and spend time with friends. This year I decided to do something different, I went to New York City! It was a great chance to get out of Pittsburgh and hey its New York City so why not right? We went up Sunday the 29th and stayed till the first so it was a nice little mini-vacation before my trip to Las Vegas for CES.

Now unlike most people I really have no interest in going to Times Square to see the ball drop. There are just too many people and from what I’ve heard it is madness. All of us instead decided to go to a party at PH-D, which is a club at the top of the Dream hotel. To give you an idea of what PH-D is all about check out this video.

PH-D is not extremely large so it has a really intimate feel to it. Also it overlooks most of Manhattan so when you are up there you have a great view. The party was a lot of fun and it was great being able to bring in the new year with some of by best friends. On top of that just being in New York and the amazing view really gave me a positive outlook on 2014.

What did you do on New Years?

10 Things I Kicked Ass at in 2013

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If you missed my previous post on the 10 Things I Could Have Done Better in 2013 make sure you check that out first so you can see what I was not so good at in 2013. As I said in that post it is the end of the year and a good time to reflect on things. Sure I made some mistakes this year, but I also think I kicked ass at a lot of things as well. So here is my list of the 10 things I kicked ass at in 2013!

1. Business as a whole – This year has been a great year for business! It is the most successful year since I started my business in 10 years ago! Feels good to really be making the type of progress I did this year.

2. Asking for more – One reason I was very successful this year in business was because I asked more. If I wanted someone to advertise on my site I would go out and ask them, instead of them coming to me. Same thing with getting certain products to review, I would go out and ask for them. I was more assertive and it worked out quite well!

3. Got out more – Whether it was hanging out with friends or just working from Panera or Starbucks I got out of the “office” much more this year. This really helped me be more productive and get more work done.

4. Did a better Job Building a Community – I really took time to build a real “community” around ThinkComputers. I built the Facebook up from 900 users to almost 9000! On top of that I have been slowly building the YouTube, Twitter and Google+ followings as well. I also am making sure that I am responding to comments and e-mails more often.

5. Was more healthy – This year I finally joined a gym and have been going regularly! This has made me feel great and actually stay fit. On top of that I have completely changed how and what I eat. Both of these things combined have enabled me to lose 20 lbs in a month!

6. Got to more EDM Shows – I love electronic music and this year I went to quite a lot of shows this year. Events like these allow me to just escape and have a great time.

7. Inspire and Make People Smile – If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know that there are two things that I always post, food and quotes. If one of those posts makes someone’s day better then I am happy. I have made it a point to keep doing things like that.

8. Was very spontaneous – So many times before I would have to plan things out way in advance if I wanted to do them. Nowadays if someone asks me to do something I normally do it. That is the reason I went to go see New World Punx in DC. My friend asked me the night before! Since changing my ways I’ve had unexpected, yet great times.

9. Helped other with business – I made a real effort this year to help friends with their businesses. Whether it was building their website, giving them advice or even helping them get motivated. Nothing feels better than seeing your friend become successful.

10. Was a calmer and nicer person – I guess this has a lot to do with growing up. I think this past year I let a lot of the drama go. I did not let a lot of things bother me and was all around a nicer person to people.

So there is my list of things I kicked ass at in 2013! Remember no one is perfect and I was pretty bad at some things as well!

10 Things I Could Have Done Better in 2013

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Well 2013 is coming to a close and it is that time that I reflect on the year and think of the things I have kicked ass at and the things I could have done better. 2013 was actually the best year for business since I started my own business, which is good, but like anyone I still made mistakes and could have done many things differently, and more importantly better. So this will be the first post going over the 10 things I could have done better in 2013, which will be followed up with the 10 things I kicked ass at in 2013 in a future post.

So what could I have done better in 2013?

1. Delegate More – My plan for ThinkComputers is to turn my role into a more of a manager. I need to be actively searching for reviewers and writers to take the brunt of the work off of me. I had planned to do this in 2013, but it really did not happen. Hopefully I will be more successful with it in 2013.

2. Be a better judge of character – I try to see the best in people, but in reality many people are just not good people. In both my personal life and in business in 2013 I’ve had people screw me over. I think in 2014 I need to really be a better judge of character and if I see a red flag I need to get out!

3. Travel More – I did not travel nearly as much as I wanted to in 2013. There really was no reason for this actually. I guess I just thought I was “too busy” which was just a dumb excuse. I already have great travel plans for 2014!

4. Be Productive not Busy – This is a huge one. Many days I feel like I’m working all day long, but am I really? I need to be more productive in 2014, not just “busy”.

5. Do not take on too much work – One thing I really did bad in 2013 was take on a lot of work. I accepted way too many products for ThinkComputers and because of that the turn-around time for the reviews was just bad. I also took on other projects that I shouldn’t have. In 2014 I need to not take on more than I can handle.

6. Blog More – Yes I know, this blog has been off and on all year. Lately I have stepped it up with the new design and some really good posts. I hope to keep it going in 2014.

7. Help more people – One thing that I did not do as much in 2013 was help people out. Again I gave the excuse that I was “too busy”. Many people I know want to start their own companies and I want to be there to help!

8. Keep in touch with more people – I sort of lost touch with many bloggers and other internet friends over the past year. Maybe it has been because I have been “busy” but in 2014 I need to fix that.

9. Read More – I really have not kept up with my reading at all. I only read two books in all of 2013! On top of that I really have not been keeping up with blogs at all either. This needs to be fixed in 2014!

10. Do more things for myself – It seemed that for most of 2013 I was doing things for other people. This was an easy way to get taken advantage of. I rarely did things for myself or things that I knew would really make me happy in 2013. In 2014 that all is changing!

Well those are 10 things I could have done better in 2013! Stay tuned for a post about the 10 things I kicked ass at in 2013!

Increase Productivity by Going Out More

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Earlier this year if you asked me to go do something my response would have been something like “Sorry I’m too busy” or “I have too much work to do”. I’m sure you’ve said that to someone before as well. The funny thing is that lately I have been going out a lot, yet I have been much more productive. How could that be?

Well first lets examine why I was “too busy” before. Working for myself I set my own hours, deadlines, etc. Being your own boss makes it extremely easy to become lazy. I had been doing minimal work each day and was “keeping busy” rather than doing the important tasks that needed to be done. So I would put the important things off. This meant when someone asked me to do something I didn’t have time because I was rushing to get certain things done because I had been lazy.

Going out more changed all of that. If you truly have a good time when you go out that is something to look forward to right? Hence it gives you motivation to get your work done. If I plan on going out with friends at 7PM that means I have until that time to get my work done for the day. Instead of putting things off and working all day till midnight and not really accomplishing that much.

Going out with friends or even just getting out of the house will drastically improve how you feel as well, especially if you work from home. I’ve had times where I had barely left my apartment for weeks. I was extremely depressed and felt like going crazy!

So stop making the excuses, go out with friends, go to the gym, go see a movie, etc. Do not be trapped by your work. If you have the right motivation you can get all of your work done and go and enjoy life!